“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” –Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl’s profound words on personal growth and freedom are the heart of my workshops. My workshop space is safe and contained. It allows a small community of people, most of whom have never met before, to come together to seek answers to personal issues. In such a setting, amazing things happen. By giving ourselves a time and place to move apart from our ongoing lives, we allow ourselves the opportunity to explore something we need to know about ourselves – something that might enrich our lives and enhance our own personal journey. An opening occurs and we are able to hear what our soul desires.
In each of my workshops, I use a range of practices designed to help us come together and collectively explore essential questions: What brought me here? What am I looking for? What do I need? What do I hope to discover? How can I continue my growth after I leave? To accomplish this, we learn to listen in a new kind of shared silence.
We use guided meditation practices that focus on creative expectation as the means to identify what we are truly seeking. True listening leads to the practice of attunement – literally, paying attention to what we feel, and what our thoughts, sensations, and bodies are telling us. We meditate, tell stories, write, draw, do relaxation exercises, and follow guided meditations and sense memories – all in service of discovering our authentic voice.
The Hidden Role of Longing in Our Lives
There is a distinct range of passionate desires within us, and they are the most potent subset of all. They are the longings at the core of our being. They are the prime mover of our lives, and form the connecting capacity that bring us into harmonious relationships with our self, others, our creative process, and the whole of creation.
This workshop is designed to help identify longing and understand how it operates in our lives so that we might use it in a conscious, purposeful, and consequential way. By learning to pay attention to our longings, we begin to acknowledge the parts of ourselves that have been hidden, neglected, even rejected. Making these conscious choices brings us closer to the freedom we are all seeking.
Personal Solitude as a Call to Wholeness
Social forces oblige us to stay digitally connected, luring us into endless diversions in search of the ‘cure,’ the ‘fix,’ the ‘answer.’ The crucial question is: How do we reconnect to ourselves? Do we even know what that means? The spaciousness and silence of solitude is where we once again begin to hear our own voice. This is where we regain our center and bring meaning into our lives. Through solitude, we exchange our driven lives for lives that are lived according to our deepest desires.
Male or female, single or partnered, each life stage can lead us further from center, leaving us with doubts, hesitations, fears, and anxiety. Yet an inner freedom is possible when we dare to befriend aloneness. This workshop invites us to tell the story of how we got diverted from meaningful and creative living and provides a pathway to the return to this powerful inner place. I use guided meditation and sense memory exercises, along with poetry and journal entries, to restore confidence in our own autonomy. We begin to discover that “creative solitude” is available to us – that it is a state brimming with the potential for personal freedom and resources for a renewed life.
The Art of Being a Woman Alone
This workshop is an invitation for women to re-imagine being alone as an opportunity rather than an affliction. By harnessing the wisdom and experience gained in solitude, women can become fully realized alone and in relationship. The “art” lies in learning how to use solitude as a shaping and transformative power in order to attune women to their own needs and desires, rather than those we have been commandeered to accept. This workshop includes discussion, memory exercises, guided meditation, and story-telling to bring about an awakening no matter what stage of life we are in.
Many of us are raised without the security of feeling truly ‘seen’ – that is, loved unconditionally as we are, rather than for some ideal of who we should be. As a result, we often grow up feeling invisible to ourselves. Women in particular tend to wear the cloak of invisibility, hiding their true selves beneath the guise of inadequacy and unworthiness. This workshop is especially designed for women who have suffered some kind of loss, be it separation from a lover, divorce, widowhood, or the diminished sense of power that often accompanies growing older. The emphasis is on the palpable reclamation and renewal of selfhood. From invisibility, we become visible and seen, which is the deepest wish for every human being.